Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Picture Tuesday, 12 weeks old

Good gracious, how did we get here?  12 weeks?!  That went by so incredibly fast!  My little babies who came into the world so teensy tiny are now starting to grow out of some of their 0-3 month clothes!  How did that happen?  The girls seem so big to me this week.  And their little bodies are starting to take on their own very different builds.  Kenna and Taryn are fed the exact same food at the exact same time and they eat the exact same amount and here are my two little girls with their own very different bodies and looks.  It's awesome.  I love that they are so different and I hope they will love it too.  They are both so beautiful and perfect.

The girls have not been consistently sleeping all night since that first time.  They did sleep all the way until 5:30 two more times this week but even when they don't we're still getting a solid 6-7 hour stretch consistently so it's hard to complain!

Our house has been hit by some bugs this week and thus far the girls have not caught them.  Tate and I have had colds and Finn had a stomach bug.  It's been kind of nice actually to have Tate home from school for a couple of days and just lay low together.  I sure hope Glenn and the girls don't catch anything before our trip!  It would be a real bummer to have to run a marathon when you're super congested and fevery!  

We leave for the airport in Bahrain tonight for our direct flight to LONDON!  It feels so surreal.  If you had told me 5 years ago that I'd be on my way to London with my FOUR children, including twin girls, to watch my husband run his THIRD marathon, I would have laughed in your face.  But here we are.  Living this crazy and amazing life that I never would have dreamt would be possible even one year ago.  

Here are my sweet babies, Kenna and Taryn, 12 weeks old!
Gotta love that little tongue.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


I've been trying so hard to keep up on Picture Tuesdays and I've gotten behind on what the rest of us are doing around here.  It's easy to be distracted with two such darling babies around.  I mean, seriously.  Look at these two little darlings.

 The weekend of Easter was quite different this year with our Sabbath being on a Friday and Glenn and Tate being at work and school on Easter Sunday.  The Easter bunny visited our house on Friday morning this year.  It felt pretty normal actually because it was our Sunday.  The Easter Bunny did a little scavenger hunt for the boys with clues hidden in eggs around the house.  Tate remembered that last year when we were at Auntie Aubry's house for Easter the Easter Bunny hid their baskets.  So we had to keep that good stuff going!  We were also really lucky to find Easter Bunny poop at the store the night before (another tradition of ours which comes from Glenn's momma.  Don't worry, they're raisinettes.) It was fun.  Mainly because Tate was thrilled to read the clues and figure them out all by himself.  Finn was happy just to follow him around and couldn't have cared less about the clues and the hunt.
 The boys found their baskets in Taryn and Kenna's crib this year and they were so happy with their contents.  Both boys got new place mats.  For some reason they're really attached to their place mats and having their own spot at the counter.  Then Tate got these really cool little robot bugs called "hexbugs".  They've provided a lot of entertainment for these two.
 Finny got this little basketball piggy bank.  Tate has his own piggy bank and loves having a place to put all the coins that he collects here but Finn didn't have one of his own.  He spent all day carrying it around and filling it with coins and then dumping them out again.
Unfortunately that evening Finn was holding his bank in one hand and his cup in the other and trying to open the fridge to put his cup away and his little bank slipped out of his hands and broke on the tile floor.  It took him a minute to process what happened.  It was so sad.  He just stared at it for a minute and then started wailing and sobbing.  He felt so badly that he had broken his special new toy and it was one of the more heartbreaking moments I've had with little Finn.  He probably cried for half an hour and kept saying, "I can never get a new piggy bank because I will just make another mistake.  I always make mistakes!"  Poor little man just felt so bad.  That night we had a little FHE and watched some church videos about our Savior and talked about how his Atonement made it so that we can be forgiven when we make mistakes and Finny said, "Like when I broke my piggy bank!"  It was so sweet.  Luckily, Auntie Mallo is going to bring little man a new piggy bank when she meets us in London next week so all will be well.  And we'll just have to institute a new rule that the piggy bank stays on the dresser and doesn't get carried around the house.  Maybe that way we can keep it intact.
On Saturday of Easter weekend we were invited to dinner at a traditional Saudi restaurant with the Frosts and Larsons.  It was a bit of a circus with all of our kids in this little room sitting on cushions on the floor and eating food that was way too foreign for my picky little Tate but I think overall it went pretty well.  The Frosts go there every year to celebrate Easter with a traditional Middle Eastern meal.  I think it's a pretty cool tradition to eat a meal sort of as Christ would have.  A very cool experience.  The food was not great but the experience was really cool.
Glenn decided he needed to try the fish.  And then I got to look at this charming face throughout the meal.  Yumm. 
 On Easter Sunday Glenn and Tate went off to work and school as usual.  After school I had hidden Easter Eggs all over the house and Tate and Finn got to gather them up after we picked Tate up from the bus.  Then later we dyed some Easter Eggs together.  Luckily I had a kit that I had packed away somewhere in our shipment.  I'll have to get some on our repat for next year!  It was a fun and simple way to keep the Easter weekend going!
This past Saturday we spent the morning at Ras Tanura with the Hendersons.  Glenn took the boys to Ras Tanura one Saturday right after we arrived but I had a migraine that day and couldn't make it so it was really fun to go together!  We really needed to take advantage of the beach before the weather gets too hot to leave the house!  Which I hear will be any day now!  We camped out in this great little pavilion and the girls slept for a while.  Once they woke up we stripped them down to their onesies so they wouldn't be too hot.  It was a really warm day.  
Glenn and I took turns sitting with the babies and playing with the boys.
 It was a beautiful day and we had fun playing in the sand and wading in the water.

 Until we found these little friends all over in the water.  The lifeguard assured us that they don't sting. They don't even have stingers, just big mushroom bodies and stumps underneath.  But they are quite large and I couldn't handle going swimming with them bumping into me.  No thank you.
 This is Tate with his buddy Zack, so proud of the two jellies that they caught in their bucket.
 Finn and April playing in the sand.
 Doesn't this look like an awful way to spend the day at the beach?  SO HOT!
Since Ras Tanura is another Aramco compound abayas are not required, but of course, they're always required if you're Saudi.  No matter where you go.  I was sweating bullets in my swimming suit.  I can't imagine wearing an abaya and not being able to swim. 
We played on the beach for a while and then we loaded up and walked over to the little swimming pool that is just off the beach.  We met up with some friends we made on our weekend in Bahrain.  They have a set of darling adopted twins and the mom is the drama teacher at the middle school there in Ras Tanura so we had a great time catching up and she told me stories about what it's like teaching drama and directing middle school shows in Saudi Arabia!  I really enjoyed it.  The kids cooled off in the pool for a bit and then we had a little lunch at the snack bar and headed home.  What a fun day.  And we did it.  With four kids!  Success.
Finny is still in soccer once a week and last week Tate started group tennis lessons.  It is SO fun to watch!  He's only had two lessons so far but he's getting much better every time.  His teacher, Mr. Jamal, is really great and so patient.  He has four kids in his class including a darling set of twin girls from London.  We've had fun sitting with their parents and talking about parenting twins and getting advice on places to visit on our trip next week.  

Here he is, so excited that he just got what his teacher calls a "big fish".  That means he hit it over the net.  If you hit it REALLY high over the net it's called a shark.  The first week of lessons ended with Tate hitting the ball a few times.  But at his second lesson he was hitting it over the net the majority of the time and he was just thrilled with his progress.  It was really fun to watch him progress and be proud of himself.

Finny has fun watching Tate play tennis and cheering for him when he hits the ball over the net.  I mean, look at that darling face!
He's been a real doll lately.  It's so nice to have week of sweet Finny in between week of "terrible threes" Finny. 
Can't wait for our next adventure in London!  The boys kept asking when we're going and we finally just made a little London paper chain and the boys are taking turns ripping off links every day.  Last night we had a little FHE lesson on obedience, stressing the importance of obeying Mom and Dad so we can keep you safe in the big city!  Glenn showed a video about a boy who didn't obey his Mom and wore flip flops instead of shoes and ended up getting stung by a scorpion.  So now Finn thinks that if he disobeys he'll "get stunged by a scorpion".  Well, whatever works, I suppose!  As long as it gets him to obey!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Picture Tuesday, 11 weeks old

Last night Taryn and Kenna slept through the night for the first time!  We put them down to bed at about 9:30 and they slept all night long!  Glenn and I woke up at 6 this morning and they still slept while I got the boys dressed and eating breakfast and just as we were about to walk out the door to go to the bus stop at 6:30 they started crying.  It was amazing!  Now if only it wasn't a fluke!  And then of course I'm sure everything will be off again when we go to London (in 9 days!!), but today, we're just thrilled.
Taryn and Kenna have rolled over from their tummies to their backs a couple of times before this week but we weren't sure if it was on purpose or not.  This week though, they've both rolled over a couple of times in a row and more than once we've left the room with them on their tummies and come back in again to see both of their faces looking up at us.  It's very exciting.  They're getting so big so fast!
Yesterday was a hard twin day.  I haven't had many of those, really.  But yesterday it seemed like if they were awake one or both of them were crying, and they did not nap well yesterday so that meant a lot of crying.  They were both asleep for maybe 30 minutes at a time a couple of times and then one or both was awake again.  It was weird and unlike them but it was the first day that I've thought, "this is pretty hard."  They're almost too big for me to hold them both at the same time one on each shoulder.  Not because their bodies are really big but because they're getting stronger and trying to sit up and look around more but they're still kind of floppy about it and it takes both arms to keep one baby really steady.  Sometimes now when I am holding them both on my shoulders one of them will flail around and end up smacking her head against her sister's head and then they both cry.  It's gotta be so frustrating.  Since they both prefer to be held upright on my shoulder it's getting difficult to comfort them both if they're both crying.  Yesterday if I picked Kenna up and calmed her down then Taryn would cry and then I'd put Kenna down and pick up Taryn and once I put Kenna down she'd start to cry again.  It was nuts.  Thankfully days like yesterday do not happen very often.  Cause wow.
Most of the time they are just the sweetest, smiling, cooing little babies and I just feel so lucky to be their mamma.  Love my twinner babies.
Here are Kenna and Taryn, 11 weeks old.  I was trying to take their pictures outside to get some nice light but it was crazy windy today and the girls hated it...so we get these silly faces.  And yet they're still pretty stinkin' adorable.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Picture Tuesday, 10 weeks old

This week the girls have been so darling.  They're smiling at us and at most everyone else they meet.  And they've both started to make more little cooing noises when we talk to them.  I'd forgotten how much those little noises make my heart melt.  It's like they're trying to tell me something very important and VERY sweet.  It's so much fun to see my little ladies react to us more and more.

This week for the first time we've sort of settled into a bit of a nap schedule.  It still varies a bit but it's been really nice to have sleepy times that are a little more predictable and it's AMAZING that they are being so good about being on the same schedule for the most part.  They have a morning nap about an hour after they eat and they sleep for about an hour or maybe an hour and a half which is when I get my workout and shower in.  It works our perfectly.  Then they have a pretty solid afternoon nap usually just after Finn goes to sleep.  Again, so perfect.  

Tate started back to school after a nice long spring break this week so we've had an even more predictable schedule.  I do not love having him back in school.  It was so fun having him home and having so much time to play together, but I guess it's just for a couple more months before summer.

This week we also had our first Easter as a family of 6.  It was fun to dress up the girls in their little matching tulle dresses and I decided to wear my tulle skirt too just for fun.  Having little baby girls is so great.  I sure love them.

Kenna and Taryn, 10 weeks old.
We got some sleepy grins at the pool today

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Dreamy Long Weekend in Bahrain

We finally got the girls' iqamas back last week and multi-entry/exit visas.  They both have Kenna's picture on them still, but at least this time they have their correct names so we're gonna let that slide!  We've been in Kingdom since the beginning of January so we were itching to get out of here!  Glenn did some research and booked us a family suite at the Gulf Hotel.  It was so dreamy.  Right downtown, around the corner from some delicious restaurants.  Our suite had a huge living room, a little kitchen, and two bedrooms each with their own bathroom.  It was perfect and still way cheaper than the Sofitel where we stayed last time.  Glenn took Sunday off of work so we had a nice long weekend.  We left on Friday morning early after his 17 mile training run and made record time over the causeway.  We were in Bahrain in an hour.  We went straight to the souk for a bit to see if we could find a couple things, which we didn't, then we went to the mall, got some lunch at Fuddruckers, and Glenn took the boys to play in the kids play place while I went to do some shopping with the girls.  It didn't take me long to realize that, while they have dressing rooms in Bahrain (bless them), they don't have handicapped dressing rooms which means that I can't fit in any of them with the stroller.  So I made my little pile of clothes, handed them to the dressing room attendant, and then went outside the store with my two crying little babies to wait for Glenn to swap me so I could go try stuff on.  It was pretty depressing realizing what size I am right now.  But the girls, as always, have wonderful timing.  Every time I would get sad one of them would fuss and need to be held. And they'd calm down in my arms and remind me that they are my little miracles.  My two little angel babies.  I am SO lucky to have them and they are worth all the mess that my body is right now.  As long as I'm making an effort to get my body back into shape, I've got to cut myself some slack because these two babies are so worth it.  
After a bit of shopping we checked into our hotel, did a little exploring, and then walked around the corner to Coco's.  It was a teensy little restaurant.  It was a bit of a treacherous walk along a busy street with construction on the sidewalk, very fast cars, and a very tired little boy who didn't want to obey or hold hands.  Then we sat at our table and I had to nurse the babies under my cover, eliciting some very curious and shocked looks from the table of Arab men next to us.  But then our food arrived.  The boys ate their food without too much complaining.  Glenn and I shared two of the most delicious dishes I've had since we arrived in Kingdom.  And we sat there, each holding a baby while we ate with one hand and Glenn and I looked at each other and smiled.  We're doing it.  We're vacationing in a foreign country with four kids, including two infants.  whew.  There were several moments like that over the weekend.  We were constantly reminded that we had to keep our expectations low and our pace slow but as long as we did that, we didn't stress out.  We didn't snip at each other or at our kids.  We played and had so much fun as a family and we came home so refreshed.  It's been a stressful month in the Kingdom and we really needed a little getaway to remind us why we live here and recharge us for another month.
The next morning we got up, fed the girls while the boys sat on our bed watching Arab Disney Junior.  It was bizarre and I was surprised how different it was.  Our favorite moment was a little commercial promoting healthy lifestyles and it said, "Next time your family goes for a walk, try riding your bike instead of taking the car."  HA!  Glenn and I looked at each other and just busted up.  This place is so bizarre.
We had a really yummy breakfast at the buffet in the hotel.  Tate loved the french toast and waffles, Finny at a huge plate of fruit.  Then we went to the pool.  
It was awesome.  They had this huge pool with a swim up bar, a little cave, and just tons of room.  We had it to ourselves much of the time.  They had a cool kiddie pool up some stairs as well but the water was pretty cold that boys did not like it at all so we spent hours in this pool together.  It was pretty amazing to be at a big pool with our two boys and be able to be so hands off.  Tate is able to swim all the way across it without any trouble at all.  Finny had so much fun just playing on the stairs and when he wanted to venture further out he put on some arm floaties and was just fine on his own too.  Of course, they weren't really on their own much.  Glenn and I took turns playing with them or sitting with the girls.  Usually one of both of the babies were a little fussy and wanted to be held and then when they were ready to eat Glenn and I both got out and fed them and then one of us would get back in the pool with the boys. It was bliss.  So fun.
The girls were happy too.
This kiddo is such a little fish.  He loves the water and going all the way under doesn't bother him one little bit.
Glenn with his little fishy boys.
Me and the girls snuggling up.
Glenn's turn with his little girlies.
Kenna needed a bit of a talking to.
Finn loved wearing his goggles.  Sometimes they kept the water out.  Sometimes not.  We played "buried treasure" and hid a coin on the bottom of the steps and took turns finding it.
What a handsome man I have.  No wonder my kids are so good looking.
Tate and Finn love when Glenn throws them across the pool.  They really get high in the air and they are so happy.
We ordered lunch and ate by the pool.  The boys were thrilled with the sword toothpicks that came in my sandwich and used them to eat the rest of their lunch.
After a couple of hours at the pool we were all exhausted and pretty sunburned even though we used sunscreen.  We went inside and put Finn and the girls down for a nap while we read Harry Potter to Tate and let him watch a little TV.  After a couple of hours we got Finn up and headed to the mall again.  I did a bit more shopping, didn't find anything but we made an effort.  Then we ate some dinner and went to Cinderella.  Again, I was pretty nervous about taking our four kids including two infants to a movie theatre but they all behaved SO incredibly well.  The boys were exhausted from our morning in the pool.  Tate was enthralled with the story and Finn, who usually can't sit still for a movie for the life of him, just sat quietly and watched as well.  And the girls slept through the whole thing.  It was so great.  Another moment where Glenn and I looked at each other and thought, "we got this."
Glenn and I had an interesting moment of realization in the movie.  During THE moment where Cinderella comes down the stairs in her gorgeous ball gown and the prince sees her and walks toward her and they start to dance, all the Arab women around us had their phones out recording the moment and taking pictures of the prince's face.  It hit me that these women will never have a Cinderella moment.  They'll never wear a prom dress and see their date's eyes when he sees how pretty she is.  She'll never have that moment when her groom looks up and sees her for the first time in her gorgeous wedding dress.  There are so many little girl dream moments of romance that these women who will wear an abaya for their entire lives, will never experience.  That is SO SAD to me!  I hadn't thought before about how many little moments of life these women will never have.
After the movie we took our very tired boys home and put them to bed.  Sunday morning we packed up and took our things downstairs, hit the buffet again and then went out to the pool.  The boys loved the koi ponds that we encountered on our way down to the pool.  They could have just watched them all day and been as happy as can be.

We spent another long morning playing in the pool and getting thoroughly worn out.  It was such bliss.
We ordered lunch again by the pool and then gathered everything up to get ready to go.  Tate helped feed baby Taryn while we were getting our stuff together and it was one of the sweetest things I've ever seen.  I love my kids.

We got everyone dressed and then drove home and had a slow paced, short evening together and then an early bedtime as both of the boys were exhausted.  
Wow.  What a dreamy weekend.  I feel like my soul is recharged.  It's seriously hard to explain how much I needed that break.  To do nothing but snuggle my babies, play with my boys, love and parent together with my husband.  It was so wonderful.  I'm still nervous for our trip to London.  It will be an entirely different type of vacation and we'll be doing it with four very young kiddos.  But I feel less nervous after this weekend.  And obviously, we'll have more help because Mallory and Aubry will be there, which I'm so thrilled about.  What a great life.